On this day in world history, many Buddhists celebrate the birth of Gautama Buddha (a supreme and enlightened teacher), the founder of Buddhism. Historians believe that he lived in India from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C. The Buddha began his life as Prince Siddhartha, of the kingdom of the Sakyas (now Nepal and India). He gave up his luxuries and attained enlightenment by the time he was 35 years old. The philosophy of Buddhism is based on the “four noble truths”: (1) existence is suffering; (2) suffering is caused by human craving; (3) there is an end to the suffering, which is nirvana; and (4) nirvana can be achieved, in this or future lives, though the “eightfold path.” The eightfold path refers to “right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.” Buddhism dispersed from India to Central and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, Japan and eventually to the west. There are also different forms, or offshoots of Buddhism. It is estimated that over 300 million people practice Buddhism all over the world.
See this brief guide to Buddhism, at http://www.buddhism-guide.com/buddhism/history_of_buddhism.htm